Smoothtalkinrascal has been plying his trade in Pattern company since scoring at Leicester in May and first-time headgear is applied on his return from a three-month layoff. Burning Blaze won his maiden over C&D but ran a stinker on his handicap debut back at this track when a long way behind third-placed Regal Dan. The latter has subsequently won over 7f at Doncaster and should figure again but with more rain forecast the ground may turn in BACHOTHEQUE's favour. He arrives on the back of a double in testing going and, though up another 6lb for this, Tim Easterby's charge may not have stopped improving yet. Others with scope for further progress include winning debutant Secretinthepark and maiden winners Bond Club and Cross My Heart.
Smoothtalkinrascal (IRE) 10-1 (8-12) Fly jumped start, held up in last pair, headway towards far side over 2f out, chased leaders and hung left over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 6th of 7, 3 1/2l behind Alhebayeb (8-12) at Newmarket 6f 2yo Grp 2 (1) sft in Jul.
Burning Blaze 11-4fav (9-0) Prominent, every chance 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 12th of 14, 11l behind Mary's Daughter (8-4) at York 6f 2yo hcp (2) gd in Aug.
Regal Dan (IRE) 9-2 (9-3) Held up towards rear, headway over 3f out to chase leaders, challenge over 1f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, just held on, won at Doncaster 7f 2yo hcp (2) gf in Sep beating Red Avenger (9-4) by hd, 8 ran.
My Boy Bill 10-1 (9-0) Mid-division and keen, ridden and weakened over 1f out, 17th of 21, 18l behind The Gold Cheongsam (8-1) at Doncaster 6f 2yo aut (2) gd in Sep.
Shahdaroba (IRE) 8-1 (9-7) Led narrowly, headed over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, no extra entering final furlong, 4th of 8, 4 1/2l behind Regal Dan (9-3) at Doncaster 7f 2yo hcp (2) gf in Sep.
Effie B 14-1 (8-12) Chased leaders, soon ridden along, closed 2f out, went 2nd inside final furlong, soon pressing winner, no impression towards finish, 2nd of 7, 1 1/2l behind Secret Look (8-10) at Chester 5f 2yo hcp 0-95 (3) gd in Sep.
Bachotheque (IRE) 9-2 (8-13) With leaders on outer, ridden over 1f out, soon led, kept on well, won at Ayr 6f 2yo hcp 0-95 (3) hvy in Sep beating Rio's Pearl (8-13) by 1 3/4l, 8 ran.
Polski Max 100-1 (9-0) Mid-division, ridden over 2f out, soon weakened, 12th of 21, 9l behind The Gold Cheongsam (8-1) at Doncaster 6f 2yo aut (2) gd in Sep.
Bircham (IRE) 15-2 (9-5) With leader, driven over 1f out, lost place when hampered inside final furlong, soon weakened, last of 10, 10l behind Baddilini (9-7) at Haydock 6f 2yo hcp (2) fm in Sep.
Lady Poppy 7-2 (9-6) Chased leaders, ridden inside final 2f, stayed on to chase winner inside final furlong, no extra in 3rd final 110 yards, 3rd of 6, 2l behind Rhagori Aur (9-1) at Musselburgh 5f 2yo hcp 0-95 (3) gf in Sep.
Secretinthepark 10-1 (9-3) Went left start, tracked leaders, ridden over 2f out, led over 1f out, held on, won at Warwick 7f 2yo mdn (5) gf in Aug beating Darkening (9-3) by nk, 10 ran.
Chasing Dreams 7-4fav (8-12) Led early, prominent, ridden over 1f out, not much room inside final furlong, stayed on same pace, 4th of 9, 1 3/4l behind Lady Ibrox (9-7) at Chester 5f 2yo hcp (2) hvy in Sep.
Old Man Clegg 7-1 (8-2) Chased leaders on outside, ridden over 2f out, kept on same pace, no impression from over 1f out, 5th of 8, 10l behind Top Notch Tonto (9-4) at Ayr 1m 2yo hcp (2) hvy in Sep.
Bond Club 15-8fav (9-0) Chased leader, ridden to challenge over 1f out, led inside final furlong, edged left briefly, ran on, won at Haydock 6f 2yo mdn (5) hvy in Sep beating Red Cobra (9-0) by 1/2l, 5 ran.
Cross My Heart 5-2 (8-12) Made all, ridden clear over 1f out, ran on well, won at Pontefract 5f 2yo mdn aut (5) gf in Sep beating Teetotal (9-3) by 2 1/4l, 6 ran.
Grievous Angel (IRE) 9-2 (9-4) Outpaced in rear, headway well over 1f out, stayed on to modest 3rd inside finlal furlong, never able to challenge, 3rd of 10, 16l behind Brazilian Clown (8-11) at Wolverhampton 7f 2yo clm stks (6) pol in Sep.
Tumblewind 25-1 (8-3) Tracked leaders, effort over 1f out, ridden and every chance when carried left inside final furlong, no extra towards finish, 5th of 10, 2l behind Baddilini (9-7) at Haydock 6f 2yo hcp (2) fm in Sep.
Lucky Lodge 11-1 (9-1) Tracked leaders in 4th, pushed along 2f out, kept on same pace, 5th of 7, 2 3/4l behind Star Up In The Sky (9-4) at Beverley 5f 2yo hcp 0-85 (4) gd in Aug.
Dumbarton Rock 15-8fav (9-0) Tracked leaders, went 2nd over 3f out, edged right and led over 1f out, soon ridden, headed inside final furlong, ran on, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Evoke (9-4) at Yarmouth 6f 2yo hcp 0-75 (5) hvy.